‘This is independence’: Woman in search of new scooter as disability creates mobility challenges
CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - A Cumberland County woman is in search of a new scooter as living with a disability continues to create mobility challenges.
“To be able to go shopping, make my groceries, things that you do in everyday life you take for granted until something like this happens; this is independence,” explained Patrieshia Newburn.
Newburn was born with club feet and spent most of her life ignoring pain and other challenges. Before retirement, she worked jobs that required driving and was determined to keep moving.
“When I was working, I wasn’t supposed to be on my feet for more than two hours of a time. This has been going on for years. I ignored it, [with a] mortgage, car payment, you don’t have time to worry about health problems,” she said. “I have always walked around with my disability, and as I got into my 40s, walking - it becomes a problem. I finally meet a husband at 45, and you want to walk places and do things together, and my feet won’t let me.”
Newburn decided to order a brand new scooter online for $999. She thought it would make it easier when she and her husband go out in nearby Farmville.
“It has just been one issue after another. When I got it, the tire the first day, the rear tires blew out,” she explained. “The advertisement did say it had all-terrain tires. It claimed it went up to 325 weight capacity. I said it is affordable. It doesn’t climb hills, doesn’t work on grass and gravel at all,”
Calling repair shops did not help. She says many places were not willing to work on it. She was later told the scooter was made with after-market parts. She was referred to a locally owned mechanic, and after spending nearly $2,000 and waiting six months, she was given the scooter back. Following the modifications, the scooter no longer has clearance, making it difficult to travel up her gravel driveway or other non-flat surfaces.
“I am stuck. I can’t do anything with it. It is not meant for a rural area. It is not meant for someone to lift up. It’s not meant for someone disabled,” she said. “This doesn’t work for me, and it is basically new.”
After all of the money spent and because it was purchased new, Newburn hopes that someone might be able to fix the scooter for a person who might be a better fit for it.
“Maybe someone can use it or take this monstrosity off and fix it for someone else. I will find another way,” she said.
Newburn is now searching for a new affordable option.
“They do make heavy-duty scooters, which are 4-5 thousand dollars out of my price range,” she said. “I don’t want to be in the house. I don’t want to spend another summer inside. I want to be [in town]. I want to see people. I want to say hello. I want to talk. I don’t want to be retired and stuck in the house and not talking to anyone.”
If you know someone who could fix the scooter or know of a resource to help Newburn find a scooter to fit her needs, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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